Sure Princess Bride quotes are fun to memorize and use in daily conversation. But how good is your Princess Bride trivia knowledge? Here are some great trivia facts about the 1987 Rob Reiner directed romantic comedy starring Robin Wright, André the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, and Cary Elwes.
1The Princess Bride Book Was Released Before The Movie
Before The Princess Bride was a Hollywood film, it was a popular novel. Written by William Goldman, the novel “The Princess Bride” was released in 1973. Goldman also wrote the script for the 1987 film. Newer covers of the book released after the movie feature images of the film’s cast and help create confusion on what came first, the movie or the book.
2The Princess Bride Was Named By Two Adolescent Girls
When William Goldman first started working on the book, he asked his 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters for input. “I said, ‘I’ll write you a story. What do you want it to be about?'” Goldman recalled to Entertainment Weekly in 2011. “One of them said ‘a princess’ and the other one said ‘a bride.’ I said, ‘That’ll be the title.'”
3The Film Had A “Meathead” For a Director
The Princess Bride was directed by Rob Reiner. The actor-turned-director became famous in the 1970s for playing the part of Michael “The Meathead” Stivic on the TV sitcom All In The Family. After the TV show ended in 1979, Reiner went on to direct many notable films including This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally and The Bucket List to name a few.
4Spinal Tap Helped Reiner Get The Job
Goldman decided Rob Reiner was the right man to direct The Princess Bride only after he saw his previous film, This Is Spinal Tap.
5Reiner’s Spinal Tap Hat Makes A Cameo In The Princess Bride
Mark Knopfler, the lead singer, and guitarist from Dire Straits wrote the music for The Princess Bride. He was a fan of Reiner’s film This Is Spinal Tap and only agreed to work on The Princess Bride if Reiner put a secret reference to Spinal Tap in the film. So Reiner hung his hat from Spinal Tap in The Grandson’s bedroom.
6Both Rob Reiner & Cary Elwes Were Fans Of The Book Prior To Filming
Director Rob Reiner’s father gave him Goldman’s book while he was starring in the popular 1970s TV show All In The Family. His dad, Carl Reiner, was friends with the book’s author, William Goldman, and wanted to share it with him. Rob Reiner loved the book. As his career shifted from actor to director, once of his goal projects was to turn the book into a film.
Cary Elwes was also a long time fan of the book. His stepfather gave him a copy of The Princess Bride in 1975 when he was just 13 years old.
7Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Almost Cast As Fezzik
William Goldman, the author of The Princess Bride, always wanted André the Giant to play the role of Fezzik. When Goldman was initially trying to package the film for production in the 1970s, Andre was his first choice for Fezzik. But Andre was too busy with his wrestling career and other commitments. So a relatively unknown bodybuilder (at the time) named Arnold Schwarzenegger was strongly being considered for the part.
But by the time the film went into production in the mid-1980s, Schwarzenegger was such a huge movie star that they couldn’t afford him. Luckily for Goldman, Andre was taking a break from wrestling for health reasons, and he was cast as Fezzik after all.
8Andre The Giant Was Suffering From Severe Back Pain During Filming
In The Princess Bride, the character Fezzik is a large and powerful man with superhuman strength. However, at the time André the Giant couldn’t lift anything heavy due to severe back pain. In the film, there’s a scene where Robin Wright jumps out a castle window and into Andre’s arms. To work around Andre’s back problems, Robin had to be harnessed to wires.
9Andre Was Lowered Onto A Horse For The Final Scene
In the final scene of The Princess Bride, all of the heroes ride away on horseback. To help prevent Andre’s horse from being injured, he was lowered onto his horse with a pulley system.
10Andre Used A Tape Recorder To Help Learn His Lines
While in the process of casting Andre for the film, Rob Reiner and William Goldman met him at a hotel in Paris. They had Andre read some lines from the script but between his accent and deep voice, they could barely understand him. So Reiner came up with an idea to use a tape recorder to help Andre practice and learn his lines phonetically. “I recorded his entire part on tape, exactly how I wanted him to do it,” Reiner recalled for Entertainment Weekly. “And he studied the tape. He got pretty good!”
11Andre The Giant’s Hands Helped Keep Robin Wright Warm During Filming
Whenever the weather got cold during on the film set, André the Giant would use his large hands to help keep Robin Wright warm. His hands were so big that just one of them could completely cover the top of her head like a hat.
Exactly how big were Andre The Giant’s hands? 16 inches from the tip of his middle finger to his wrist. Due to a chromosomal disorder, his HGH production never slowed down after puberty. In comparison, the average human’s hands are only about 7.5 inches long from middle fingertip to the wrist. But even at 16 inches, Andre still doesn’t hold the record for the largest hands.
12A Lot Of Actresses Wanted The Role Of Princess Buttercup
A lot of different actresses were considered for the role of Princess Buttercup. It was a highly desired role in The Princess Bride cast. Scriptwriter and novel author, William Goldman, initially wanted Carrie Fisher from Star Wars for the role. Courteney Cox, Meg Ryan, Uma Thurman, and Whoopi Goldberg all also auditioned, but ultimately Robin Wright was cast as Princess Buttercup.
The Princess Bride was one of Wright’s first major acting roles. In the years that followed, she landed featured and leading acting parts in Forrest Gump, Moneyball, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Wonder Woman, Blade Runner 2049, and House Of Cards among others.
13Robin Wright’s English Accent Was Real
Robin Wright is originally from Texas but in the film, she has a near-flawless English accent. Why? Her father, Freddie Wright, was from Britan.
14The Chemistry Between Princess Buttercup and Westley Was Real
Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup) and Cary Elwes (Westley) had chemistry both on and off the set. The two were smitten with each other and Wright told ABC News that she was worried that people could see her heart beating fast because she thought Elwes was so cute. The feeling was mutual. Elwes said that he “couldn’t concentrate on much of anything after that first encounter with Robin.”
The two actors enjoyed their time together on set and were very reluctant to film the “Horseback Kiss”, their final scene together. Wright and Elwes keep creating fake excuses so they could shoot the kissing scene again and again. In 2011, Wright told Good Morning America, that she asked for a 57th take of the kissing scene.
15The Dread Pirate Roberts Was Also Real
The fictional Dread Pirate Roberts in the novel The Princess Bride (1973) and its 1987 film adaptation, is based on a real 18th-century Caribbean pirate named Bartholomew Roberts (1682-1722). The Welsh pirate was arguably the most successful pirate in history. He was known for both his bravery and success and captured over 400 ships during his career. Roberts is also credited with inventing the pirate code after one of his most trusted crew stole a boat and ripped him off. Roberts died in a battle with Captain Chaloner Ogle of the HMS Swallow on February 10, 1722, off the coast of western Africa. Roberts was struck in the neck from a grapeshot cannon and bleed out on the deck of his ship. Both the pirate community and the Royal Navy were shocked by the death of Roberts. Many people thought he was invincible.
16The Promotion For The Princess Bride Movie Sucked
Despite winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 1987 and some great reviews, the promotion for The Princess Bride was a disaster.
“I think we had a real marketing problem with Princess Bride,” director Rob Reiner told the website Hitflix in 2010. “It was hard to categorize… I think the title also scared a lot of people. It sounds like a children’s fairytale or something.”
But one of the things about the film’s marketing that really upset Rob Reiner was the lack of a movie trailer. A Princess Bride trailer wouldn’t get created by the studio until after its theatrical release. And that trailer sucked.
“I remember having a fight with Barry Diller, the head of 20th Century Fox, the company that released ‘Princess Bride’… I was so upset because we didn’t have a trailer. We never had TV spots. It was terrible.”
NERD NOTE: Sharing Princess Bride quotes and dressing up in Princess Bride costumes on Halloween or at ComicCon are just a couple of ways fans continue to keep this film alive today.
17VHS Helped The Film Find New Audiences
Despite being a disappointment at the box office, the movie grossed almost double its budget of 16 million dollars. The Princess Bride didn’t really gain traction until it was released on VHS cassette in 1988. After that, rentals and home video sales helped the film slowly start to earn cult status among a wide variety of audiences.
Not many films can capture the attention of multiple generations of a family at the same time. Thanks to The Princess Bride’s unique universal and cross-generational appeal, it wasn’t uncommon for kids, college students, parents, and grandparents all to sit together and watch the movie together on VHS.
18The Albino’s Eyes Were On Fire
Actor Mel Smith who played The Albino in The Princess Bride has never seen the movie because it was such a painful experience for him.
His character was required to wear colored contact lenses. But unknown to Smith and the costume department at the time, he was actually allergic to the lens solution used. Smith was in constant pain and discomfort throughout filming and reluctant to relive the memory by watching the film.
19Crystal Used His SNL Makeup Artist
For the part of Miracle Max, Billy Crystal‘s Princess Bride makeup was done by Saturday Night Live makeup artist Peter Montagna. Crystal was a cast member at SNL at the time and gave Montanga photos of his grandmother and baseball legend Casey Stengel to help create the look for Miracle Max.
20Billy Crystal Will Make You Laugh ‘Til It Hurts
Billy Crystal can be a dangerous man to have on set. He made the Princess Bride cast laugh so hard they got physically sick or hurt.
- Mandy Patinkin bruised a rib from laughing so hard during his scenes with Billy Crystal. When Patinkin says the line “This is noble sir” you can clearly see the strain on his face. It looks like Patinkin is both about to cry and laugh.
- Director Rob Reiner had to leave the set during Billy Crystal’s scenes. Reiner would laugh so hard at Crystal that he would get nauseated.
21Crystal Never Did The Same Joke Twice On Set
Crystal was only on set for three days. He ad-libbed most of his Miracle Max lines and never did the same joke twice. A lot of his favorite takes had to be cut because the rest of the Princess Bride cast couldn’t stop laughing.
22Fans Recite Lines To Mandy Patinkin Daily
Without question, the most popular Mandy Patinkin Princess Bride quote is “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” The line is said 6 times in the film.
In a 2012 interview, Patinkin told New York Magazine that at least 2-3 strangers a day quote the line to him. Patinkin actually loves hearing the famous line from fans. The role of Inigo Montoya is his personal favorite from his acting career and he’s glad that he had an opportunity to be in the film.
23The Sword Fights Were Choreographed By Darth Vader’s Stunt Double
One of the best scenes in the film is artfully orchestrated 3-minute sword fight between Westley and Inigo Montoya. The scene has actors Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes climbing obstacles, performing acrobatics, and fighting both left and right-handed.
The scene was choreographed by British Olympic fencer and sword coach, Bob Anderson, and renowned stunt coordinator Peter Diamond. Anderson also famously played the role of Darth Vader‘s stunt double for the lightsaber battles in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Anytime Darth Vader was holding a lightsaber, it was really Anderson underneath Darth Vader’s costume.
The sword fight scene is one of the most complicated in the entire film. Actors Patinkin and Elwes trained for several months before shooting and it took a full week to film the fight scene from all angles.
“Cary and I trained every day that we weren’t shooting for four months,” Patinkin recalled in a 2011 interview. “There were no stuntmen involved in any of the sword fights, except for one flip.”
24The Rodents of Unusual Size Were Really Rat Men
One of the major obstacles in the film that Wesley and Princess Buttercup have to navigate is the Rodents of Unusual Size (ROUS). In reality, the ROUS was a group of really small actors in rat suits.
- Inconceivable: The word “inconceivable” is said 5 times in the film.
- As You Wish: The famous phrase “As you wish” is said 7 times in the movie by two different characters. But who said it? Westley, right? Who else?
- 4 by Westley
- 3 by The Grandfather
Inconceivable Princess Bride Trivia
We hope you enjoyed this list of Princess Bride trivia. If you know something that we missed, then please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading. And if you are a huge fan of The Princess Bride, then please check out our article about the best Princess Bride quotes.